Mate search and mate-finding Allee effect: on modeling mating in sex-structured population models

Mate search and mate-finding Allee effect: on modeling mating in sex-structured population models Many demographic and other factors are sex-specific. To assess their impacts on population dynamics, we need sex-structured models. Such models have been shown to produce results different from those predicted by asexual models, yet need to explicitly consider mating dynamics. Modeling mating is challenging and no generally accepted formulation exists. Mating is often impaired at low densities due to difficulties of individuals in locating mates, a phenomenon termed a mate-finding Allee effect. Widely applied models of this Allee effect assume either that only male density determines the rate at which females mate or that male and female densities are equal. Contrarily, when detailed models of mating dynamics are sometimes developed, the female mating rate is rarely reported, making quantification of the mate-finding Allee effect difficult. Here, we develop an individual-based model of mating dynamics that accounts for spatial search of one sex for another, and quantify the rate at which females mate, depending on male and female densities and under a number of reasonable mating scenarios. We find that this rate increases with male and female densities (hence observing a mate-finding Allee effect), in a decelerating or sigmoid way, that mating can be most efficient at either low or high female densities, and that the mate search rate may undergo density-dependent selection. We also show that mate search trajectories evolve to be as straight as possible when targets are sedentary, yet that when targets move the search can be less straight without seriously affecting the female mating rate. Some recommendations for modeling two-sex population dynamics are also provided. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theoretical Ecology Springer Journals

Mate search and mate-finding Allee effect: on modeling mating in sex-structured population models

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Theoretical Ecology/Statistics; Plant Sciences; Zoology
ISSN
1874-1738
eISSN
1874-1746
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12080-017-0361-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many demographic and other factors are sex-specific. To assess their impacts on population dynamics, we need sex-structured models. Such models have been shown to produce results different from those predicted by asexual models, yet need to explicitly consider mating dynamics. Modeling mating is challenging and no generally accepted formulation exists. Mating is often impaired at low densities due to difficulties of individuals in locating mates, a phenomenon termed a mate-finding Allee effect. Widely applied models of this Allee effect assume either that only male density determines the rate at which females mate or that male and female densities are equal. Contrarily, when detailed models of mating dynamics are sometimes developed, the female mating rate is rarely reported, making quantification of the mate-finding Allee effect difficult. Here, we develop an individual-based model of mating dynamics that accounts for spatial search of one sex for another, and quantify the rate at which females mate, depending on male and female densities and under a number of reasonable mating scenarios. We find that this rate increases with male and female densities (hence observing a mate-finding Allee effect), in a decelerating or sigmoid way, that mating can be most efficient at either low or high female densities, and that the mate search rate may undergo density-dependent selection. We also show that mate search trajectories evolve to be as straight as possible when targets are sedentary, yet that when targets move the search can be less straight without seriously affecting the female mating rate. Some recommendations for modeling two-sex population dynamics are also provided.

Journal

Theoretical EcologySpringer Journals

Published: Jan 11, 2018

References

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